Understory Plants

Buckthorn Abundance Along Edge Habitats: Morgan Arboretum

Buckthorn Abundance Along Edge Habitats: Morgan Arboretum

  Figure 1: One of the tree lines we studied, on a beautiful day. Introduction: The invasive European shrub known as Buckthorn, has been recently identified as detrimental to North American ecosystems (Mascoro, 2007). There are two types, Common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) and Glossy buckthorn (Fragula alnus) (See figure 2). In the context of our […]

Medicinal Plants in the Morgan Arboretum

Medicinal Plants in the Morgan Arboretum

Dominant tree species within a forest have resounding effects on the developmental direction an ecosystem takes. Different types of trees can affect the soil properties, water, light availability, and in our case, understory growth. A large portion of understory plants have medicinal properties, making them of special interest to humans both historically, having been used […]

Intraspecific Competition within the Sugar Maple Species, Acer Saccharum, through the Assessment of Population Density and Size

Intraspecific Competition within the Sugar Maple Species, Acer Saccharum, through the Assessment of Population Density and Size

There are approximately 150 species of maple trees located within the Northern Hemisphere, with 10 of them native to North America (NRCAN-2015). One of the most commonly grown species of maple is the Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum). Sugar maple is a keystone species, meaning it is a significant ecological element of Northern hardwood forests, like […]

Beechdrops at the Morgan Arboretum

Beechdrops at the Morgan Arboretum

Physical Description Beechdrops (Epifagus virginiana) are annual flowering plants which parasitize beech tree roots all over Eastern North America. They completely lack chlorophyll and have smooth, brownish stems and branches that reach a height of about 30cm (Musselman, 1982).  During our own observations, they were very easy to miss under all the autumn leaf litter, […]

Wild Ginger Within the Morgan Arboretum

Wild Ginger Within the Morgan Arboretum

Wild ginger is an understory perennial that grows up to 6 inches tall at maturity. It springs from an underground network of rhizomes and forms dark green, heart-shaped leaves about 3 inches in diameter. The clonal growth forms a mat of wild ginger that covers the ground, which prevents other seedlings from growing within the […]

Medicinal Plants

Medicinal Plants

Medicinal plants have been used to treat an array of illnesses dating back thousands of years. It is not known exactly who discovered that plants have medicinal properties, but scriptures describing their uses, written around 3000 B.C. by the Egyptians and Ancient Chinese, have been discovered (Ehrlich 2013). Researchers have shown that, throughout time, indigenous cultures […]